TAIPEI (Taiwan News) —Among other benefits and plans, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) will extend its part-time jobs program to foreign residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday (July 8).
In a bid to help foreign workers get back on their feet amid the economic slowdown due to the Level 3 alert, the MOL on June 9 extended its "Peace of Mind Employment Plan" (安心就業計劃) to a full 24 months, and on Wednesday (July 7) it announced that self-employed workers making less than NT$408,000 (US$14,571) per year will be eligible for subsidies. Starting Thursday (July 8), the MOL will extend its "Peace of Mind Immediate Work Plan" (安心即時上工計畫) to foreign residents and foreigners with work permits.
Peace of Mind Immediate Work Plan
The Peace of Mind Immediate Work Plan offers part-time jobs for unemployed people. Previously, only foreigners married to Taiwanese citizens could participate in this program, but starting on Thursday, foreigners with an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) or work permit will also be eligible.
Under the program, workers who have lost their jobs will be provided with simple, part-time jobs that will pay NT$160 per hour for no more than 80 hours per month. The maximum that a participant can earn per month is NT$12,800.
Workers can participate in this program for up to one year. According to the MOL, approximately 12,000 foreign nationals residing in Taiwan will be able to participate in this program.
For more information about the Peace of Mind Immediate Work Plan, call 0800-777-888 or visit the Taiwan Jobs website.
Peace of Mind Employment plan
Under this plan, any legally employed worker, be they foreign or Taiwanese, can receive subsidies, so long as they have labor insurance (勞保). Under this scheme, Taiwanese and foreigners with employment insurance (就業保險) included with their labor insurance can receive a percentage of the difference between their lost salary and the amount of their employment insurance.
When calculating the subsidy, the MOL will look at the average monthly amount an employer insured (投保) a worker over the course of a year. The maximum monthly employment insurance that an employee can be insured for is NT$45,800.
If a worker suffers a reduction in their work hours, the MOL will pay for 50 percent of the difference between the average monthly insured employment insurance amount and their remaining monthly salary. For more information about the Peace of Mind Employment Plan, call 0800-777-888 or visit the Workforce Development Agency website.
Subsidies for self-employed workers
The MOL announced on its website that subsidies will be provided to self-employed workers affected by the pandemic and whose income in 2020 was less than NT$408,000. These benefits will also apply to self-employed foreigners at this income level who have an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC).
Those who did not apply for subsidies last year must first go to the Bureau of Labor Insurance website and enter their Taiwan ID number or APRC number, worker's account information, phone number, and mailing address between July 9 and Aug. 9. The bureau will allocate the funds as soon as possible and notify the recipients that the subsidies have been sent via text message.
To qualify, applicants must meet the conditions listed on this web page. Those who qualify and did not earn an insured monthly salary over NT$24,000 in April will receive a subsidy of NT$30,000 per person, while those who earned an insured salary in excess of NT$24,000 that month will receive a subsidy of NT$10,000 per person.
As long as a foreigner was legally employed and had labor insurance before losing their job, they can qualify for unemployment benefits with the MOL. The formula for payment is 60 percent of their average monthly salary over the previous six months before they lost their job.
In the case of the worker who had been making NT$50,000, at 60 percent, they would receive NT$30,000 in monthly unemployment benefits. These benefits will be provided for up to six months.
To apply for unemployment benefits, visit the nearest local MOL employment service center (就業中心). Visit the Taiwan Jobs website to find the nearest employment service center.
Aid for cram school teachers
For teachers at cram schools and after-school care centers, the Ministry of Education (MOE) is offering a one-time payment of NT$30,000 from a pool of NT$800 million to compensate for lost salary and NT$10,000 for living expenses. Only schools that have lost at least 50 percent of their monthly revenue from May to July compared to March and April or from May to July 2019 are eligible to apply for these subsidies on their employees' behalf.
A National Development Council (NDC) representative told Taiwan News that foreign teachers should make sure their employers apply for this subsidy because only through their employers can they receive the full NT$40,000. Only foreigners who have obtained permanent residence in Taiwan currently qualify for these subsidies.
In principle, applicants, be they Taiwanese or foreign, can only apply to receive one of these sets of subsidies.